Keaton It Real: 2019 First Half All-Disappointment Team
Everyone loves a downer at the party right? We just passed the halfway point of the season and now is a great time to reflect on the performances that have frustrated fantasy owners the most this season. I had more fun than I should have putting this article together last year so here I am, making this an annual mid-season tradition, because who doesn’t love reveling in others’ misery?
Without further ado, here’s the squad that let fantasy owners down this offseason. Remember though, we’re not mad, we’re just disappointed. Which is worse. Just like these guys performances.
C- Buster Posey (.250/.310/.380 3 HR 22 RBI 0 SB)
Posey had been a staple at the catcher position for some time now, but it seems his watch is ending. For the past couple seasons, you had accepted that his counting stats wouldn’t be what they once were but his ratios would still be strong. This season, however, even his ratios aren’t cutting it. His strikeout rate is the highest it’s been since 2014, his walk rate is the lowest it’s been since 2012 and his OBP is the lowest it has ever been. You may not have expected a lot from Posey, but you were expecting more than this.
1B- Jesus Aguilar (.203/.311/.316 5 HR 26 RBI 0 SB)
One of the fantasy MVPs from a season ago, Aguilar has fallen off a cliff this season. It’s almost shocking that his OBP is still over .300 with how poorly he’s been playing, but working a walk has been the bare minimum Aguilar has been able to muster at the plate. Long gone are the hopes Aguilar can repeat his 30-homer 100-RBI season and it wouldn’t surprise me if Aguilar started losing at-bats in a platoon to the next man on this list in the second half.
2B- Travis Shaw (.164/.278/.290 6 HR 13 RBI 0 SB)
Shaw’s performance has been so bad he ended up being sent down to Triple-A not long ago and for good reason. He was giving the Brewers less than nothing while Keston Hiura was raking. When Shaw returns, it won’t be at second as he’s lost that position. His only hoping for at-bats now is working his way into a platoon with Aguilar. Which he might actually have a legit chance at, given Aguilar’s inclusion on this list.
3B- Jose Ramirez (.214/.307/.322 5 HR 31 RBI 18 SB)
The cost of acquiring Jose Ramirez this offseason was massive, either spending a top draft pick in start-up leagues or a ton in a trade for him. Unfortunately, he’s done nothing but let fantasy owners down. If you’re into small victories then congrats, he’s still stealing bases. However, the power show he displayed the past couple years is nowhere to be found and he can’t seem to hit for average. As a result, his walk rate took a sharp drop and his strikeout rate is up a tick. The overall line is gross and at this point, there’s nothing left to do but hold and hope brighter things are around the corner for next year.
SS- Jurickson Profar (.218/.280/.379 10 HR 40 RBI 6 SB)
After finally getting some consistent playing time last season Profar put together a really solid 2018 campaign that showed he still might be able to reach some of those lofty expectations he once had as a top prospect. Getting traded to Oakland this offseason, it looked like he was slotted back into a muddled playing time situation but Oakland made it clear Profar was going to get the at-bats. With those at-bats, Profar has done next to nothing. He’s taken much more of a step back than forward. He’s hacking at the plate and it shows. He can’t make contact and he’s overly aggressive. Still just 26, he can, of course, figure it out but so far this season it’s been disappointing to see.
OF- Ender Inciarte (.218/.300/.323 2 HR 9 RBI 3 SB)
Inciarte has been out for a bit with an injury so this might be a bit of a stretch, but prior to going down with the injury, he did nothing with his time on the playing field. Even only being able to muster 3 steals, something you could always count on him for even if he wasn’t hitting for average (something you also could have counted on). He had carved out a profile of Adam Eaton lite, but this line is not anywhere near that. Now with the success of Austin Riley, Inciarte might have lost an everyday spot in the line-up.
OF- Lorenzo Cain (.245/.310/.353 5 HR 48 RBI 10 SB)
When it’s all said and done, Cain might eclipse his homer total from last season but that might be the best part of his stat line. This is the worst average he’s ever had in the majors and tied for the worst OBP. Hitting for average and an OBP over .350 became routine for Cain, but as you can see, he’s not really close to that. Now that I think about it, topping his homer total of 10 from last season might not be all that impressed with the current state of the ball either.
OF- Ian Happ (.223/.346/.392 11 HR 42 RBI 8 SB AAA)
Happ has yet to play at the Major League level this season and that’s why I have him on this list. The fact he wasn’t able to weasel his way into at-bats with the Cubs the way that Maddon uses his players says something major about his game. Mainly the strikeouts, which even at AAA are still a bit high. Maybe people weren’t expecting a massive offensive break out season from Happ but people were expecting to get major league at-bats from him and the fact he has zero qualifies his first half as a disappointment.
SP- Chris Sale (3-8 4.04 ERA 1.07 WHIP 2.19 BB/9 12.87 K/9)
Sale has had an up and down season so far. Starting off ice cold, then hitting a massive hot streak for a bit in the middle, and now he’s back to struggling. His strikeout rate and walk rate are not all that bad, all things considered, but the rest is pretty ugly. He’s giving up way to many homers, struggling with his command and just hasn’t been reliable for the pitcher we had ranked as our number 1 dynasty starting pitcher.
SP- Blake Snell (5-7 4.87 ERA 1.28 WHIP 3.07 BB/9 12.39 K.9)
Snell wasn’t ranked too far behind Sale, and for good reason coming off of a Cy Young season. He too, however, has struggled far too much for where he was ranked and with the expectations he carried. Like Sale, the strikeouts and walks aren’t so bad but the rest is rather ugly. It’s hard to see where Snell is really going wrong here and he might just be a victim of some terribly extended bad luck, but that doesn’t dismiss his stat line from being a disappointment so far.
SP- Jack Flaherty (4-5 4.90 ERA 1.29 WHIP 3.10 BB/9 10.10 K/9
Flaherty was a guy that, coming into the year, many expected would build on his strong 2018 season and take a step forward. Instead, he’s taken a bit of a step back and been very inconsistent. He’s mixed in some gems in between poor outings but again it’s just been too inconsistent for the expectations and his ranking coming into the season. I’m not sure the long term value of any of the three pitchers so far really gets moved any based on these first halves but, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been up to par.
SP- Noah Syndergaard (5-4 5.28 ERA 1.24 WHIP 2.41 BB/9 8.76 K/9)
This is one, though, for which I need to stop and think. When the tertiary stats are also bad, what does this bad first half say about his long-term prospects? His strikeouts are way down from where they had been previously and his WHIP is higher, and he’s giving up many more homers. There’s so much going wrong with Syndergaard that shouldn’t be that the explanation is either he has to be hurt, or something is off mechanically. Either way, it’s lead to a stinker of a first half.
RP- Edwin Diaz (4.64 ERA 1.36 WHIP 2.73 BB/9 14.73 K/9 18SV 4 BS)
Diaz is tied for the third-most blown saves in the majors and has struggled mightily with homers this season, to the tune of a 21.9% HR/FB rate. His strikeout rate looks good but it’s still actually down from previous years and his walks are up from last year, not to mention his poor ERA. Maybe it comes with the territory of playing for the Mets but Diaz hasn’t had a great first half despite the 18 saves.
RP- Blake Treinen (4.29 ERA 1.60 WHIP 5.80 BB/9 9.34 K/9 16 SV 2 BS)
Treinen has had a couple of stints on the IL which probably explain his poor stat line but, as one of the top two or three relievers form a year ago the performance so far has been rocky. The silver lining is the 16 saves and only two blown saves with that stat line and the number of walks he’s given up. Unfortunately, silver linings are not a fantasy stat and a reliever you thought you could rely on has been anything but reliable.
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